Basic Food Hygiene Practice

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3 min 12 sec
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Food Hygiene is a separate course but with infection control, we need to mention it to ensure you are aware of the basics. Food poisoning is common and usually mild but sometimes it can be fatal especially for the elderly or sick.

Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Stomach cramping/pain
  • Vomiting/nausea; diarrhoea which can occur either quickly or after many hours from the initial consumption. 

It can just affect one person or a group if they have all been infected. The main symptoms may pass without treatment in a few hours, but medical advice may be needed. Dehydration is a major problem so increasing fluids is important. Contamination can come in three main ways, Bacterial (microorganisms, bacterial, germs), Physical (objects in food), and Chemical (cleaning substances in the food). 

If you are preparing or serving food you must be fully aware of workplace practices and take the correct training. Some basic points with food are: Always ensure that your hands are thoroughly clean. Use the designated hand washing basin. Ensure your clothes or hair does not dangle in the food or catch fire. Always ensure that surfaces and equipment that you are going to use are clean and you have hand detergents to remove food particles plus disinfectant to remove germs (bacteria). Always use separate surfaces and utensils for raw and cooked foods. Clean utensils as you go if possible. Do not touch the waste bin, your face, hair, sneeze or cough when preparing food. If you do, wash your hands again. Do not blow onto food as germs will cross-contaminate from your mouth.

Cook food thoroughly. As a minimum, a Core Temperature of 70 degrees C for 2 minutes. Cover food when being stored. It prevents cross-contamination from raw to cooked food. Cool food as quickly as possible. 90 minutes max before putting in the fridge. The danger zone for repopulation of germs is 5 to 63 degrees C. One germ can become one hundred million in less than ten hours.

If food is to be reheated, ensure it is reheated to 82 degrees C.Cover cuts, scratches and spots with blue waterproof plasters and remove jewellery. Do not taste food with your fingers or dirty utensils. Use a separate spoon for each tasting. Chill food below 5 degrees C. Freeze food below minus 18 degrees C.Clean up as you go along and leave everything clean and tidy when you have finished.